Scary and exciting: CFOs discuss the future at scrumptious Saxon dinner

People, strategy and ethics will be pivotal for future finance leaders - and the future is now.

A select group of top CFOs enjoyed a delicious three-course meal at the luxurious premises of the Saxon Hotel on 16 April 2019 and discussed the future with globally renowned speaker and strategist Graeme Codrington. Supported by software company Sage, the discussion about the Futurealist was as much about technology as it was about the impact of staying younger longer, ethics and education and the lifes and times of our children.

“The future is exciting and scary at the same time,” said Elisa Mkhize, CFO of Clinix Health Group. The continuous technological revolution in personal life and the work space was touched by most dinner guests, with Investec Specialist Bank CFO Marlé van der Walt saying that tech has the potential to “invigorate the profession”. RMB Corporate Banking CFO Storme McDonald focussed on the way tech can “amplify human capital” and allow finance leaders to hire coders an engineers as part of their team, rather than just CAs(SA).

Sappi CFO Glen Pearce talked about the influence of technology in promoting democracy, but also touched on moral and ethical dilemmas, for example around driverless cars. Kumba CFO Bothwell Mazarura emphasised the future is now and talked about the challenge as a parent around regulating the exposure and access of his children to tech, a point that was debated for a while by all. Afgri CFO Rivasha Maharaj concluded that tech forces leaders to be even more responsible and accountable.

Sage’s Greg Palmer and Matthew Kibby regularly chipped in the CFO discussion and there the dinner turned into a showcase for the top-notch learning and knowledge sharing that these type of events have become known for. With Graeme Codrington on form, the discussion was also full of fascinating facts and insights. What, for example, are the consequences of the fact that our average age will soon be 100? What does that mean for us personally, for our business and for the CFO role?